Medical student Brittany saves her first life by donating bone marrow
Most people wouldn’t hesitate to call a bone marrow donor a hero, as it is a lifesaving procedure for a patient in need. However, the donor doesn’t usually consider their actions heroic. Brittany takes it a step further. “If I had been called to donate and hadn’t agreed to do it, I would be a villain,” she said. Although Brittany is only speaking for herself, the word “villain” sounds harsh. But that’s just how deep her sense of obligation runs.
A 26-year-old medical student from Los Angeles, Brittany swabbed while a staff member at Camp Mountain Chai in the summer of 2012. She was eager to register as a potential donor, inspired by her father. Almost 21 years ago, he was cured of myeloma through a bone marrow transplant. Unfortunately, an infection claimed his life shortly after but Brittany reports that she was able to view, firsthand, the positive impact of the treatment. She saw her father live cancer-free, an image she cherishes, though the memory dates back to her early childhood.
Drawing on her medical knowledge, Brittany describes bone marrow transplantation as “not just a treatment for many diseases but an actual cure.” She also tells us, "I am going into medicine so that I can help cure disease and alleviate suffering, and I saw this as another way of doing that.”
Brittany is three years into her medical degree, and is studying at UCLA. In her free time, she likes to watch movies and go to the beach with friends. On October 11, 2015, she met her recipient Eileen Guttman at a Walk for Life event in Long Island, NY.